FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 2015
Contact: Jessica Antonio, Secretary General, BAYAN-USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Enough is Enough! It’s Time to GO Aquino!
“President BS Aquino is GUILTY of crimes against the Filipino people. His time is up!” proclaims Bernadette Ellorin, BAYAN-USA Chairperson. “His corrupt and despotic regime has carried the anti-people policies of all of his predecessors too far and inflicted intolerable damage on the Philippines and the Filipino people.”
From July 16-18, BAYAN-USA joined roughly 300 attendees at the International People’s Tribunal on Crimes Against the Filipino People held in Washington D.C., in which 32 witnesses from the Philippines testified about their experiences under Aquino’s violent and repressive regime. Both the US and Aquino governments were found guilty by the jury, and the people declared that both are charged with violations against human rights including civil, political, economic, cultural, and the right to self determination and national sovereignty.
Aquino’s failure to protect the national sovereignty of the Filipino people against China’s military aggression and the U.S. pivot has only demonstrated his subservience to imperialist powers. The Mamasapano incident, funded and directed by the U.S., revealed Aquino’s willingness to blatantly lie to the people and protect the U.S. in spite of the bloodbath that resulted in the loss of over 70 Filipinos. The recent re-opening of the Subic Naval Base for U.S. use in the midst of unresolved cases such as the murder of 26 year old transgender Filipina Jennifer Laude by U.S. Marine Joseph Pemberton further shows Aquino’s total disregard for the fight for justice and genuine welfare of Filipino women and children. The US-Aquino regime continues to use the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) to bring thousands of troops, surveillance drones, and warships to the country and ultimately subject the Philippines as its own U.S. base in posturing against China, the growing superpower.
Aquino’s crooked record has expanded every year with the vilification, surveillance, harassment and murder of activists and civilians working with the poor and most marginalized communities in the Philippines. During Aquino’s presidency, there have been 771 illegal arrests and detention, 537 political prisoners, 262 extrajudicial killings, 125 cases of torture, and 27 enforced disappearances as documented by human rights alliance Karapatan. Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan counter-insurgency program gives full play to the impunity which has gripped the country for decades. Aquino maintains the human rights crisis by failing to prosecute known criminals such as Jovito “the Butcher” Palparan and former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for their notorious crimes against humanity.
The continued failure of economic policies, such as the Labor Export Policy, has only exposed Aquino’s ineptitude in addressing the widespread joblessness and welfare of overseas Filipino workers. In fact, while Aquino touts the myth of a rising economy in the country, unemployment and underemployment have ballooned to roughly 12.2 million with the wealth of the richest Filipinos nearly tripling at 250% from $14 trillion (USD) in 2010 to $48 trillion (USD) in 2015. Without national industries and meaningful jobs, an estimated 6,000 Filipinos are forced to leave their families and country everyday in search of work abroad. As a result, OFWs become susceptible to trafficking schemes such as the case of Mary Jane Veloso who joins 91 other Filipinos on death row under Aquino’s presidency.
“Five years of Aquino has proven harmful for the majority of Filipinos who are not promised pork barrel packages for their loyalty, but instead have to live the reality of poverty, hunger, joblessness, displacement, rising prices of basic services and goods, a failing public transportation system in the city and military repression in the countryside,” Ellorin stated.
Join BAYAN USA at these People’s SONA events across the nation. For more updates please visit bayanusa.org :
BAYAN USA Pacific Northwest
Sunday, June 26, 12–3pm
GABRIELA Seattle and Kounter Balance performing on the Main Stage
Guerilla Teach-In on People’s SONA and IPT Reportback at 3pm at the Ihaw Ihaw Stage
Seward Park, Seattle
Los Angeles, CA
BAYAN USA Southern California
People’s SONA Action: Roasting Aquino
Monday, July 27th at 5:30pm
In front of the Philippine Consulate, 3435 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
San Francisco, CA
BAYAN USA Northern California
SONA ng Bayan, People’s SONA Action
Monday, July 27th at 5:00pm
Meet @ Union Square to march to the Philippine Consulate
New York City, NY
BAYAN USA Northeast
People’s SONA Action
Sunday, July 26th at 12:00pm
Five Corners in Jersey City
Path Train from NYC to Journal Square
Monday, July 27 at 4:30pm
Meet @ the Philippine Consulate (556 5th Avenue, between 45th and 46th Sts.)